When I turned 50, I could think, “Maybe I still have another half a lifetime left.” After all, the number of centenarians in the United States has been growing. Willard Scott, with whom I share a birthday, BTW, still announces the birthdays of those over 100 on NBC-TV’s TODAY show, as far as I know.
Now that I am 60, though, I have to acknowledge that I’m not going to live another 60 years, even if I move to Azerbaijan and start eating yogurt soup. (And if I’m wrong, which one of you is going to write to correct me?)
I note this, not with melancholy or dismay, but with a certain resolve not to waste my time with X or Y. I’ve already done a fair job in that I’ve largely stopped caring about the negative things people who aren’t friends and family say. It’s not that I won’t complain about them, and in fact, I’m even more likely to do so, probably in this blog; it’s that the anger and frustration don’t consume me, as they once did.
Once upon a time, every March 8 (the day after my birthday), I would play a particular Paul Simon tune. The lyric started:
Yesterday it was my birthday
I hung one more year on the line
I should be depressed
My life’s a mess
But I’m having a good time
I played that song annually for 20 years or more. I should get back to doing that again.
Have a Good Time – Paul Simon
On June 5, the 25th anniversary edition of the landmark Paul Simon album Graceland will be released. It has a few demo or alternate tracks, plus something described as “The Story of ‘Graceland’ as told by Paul Simon,” which could be interesting. But what is really intriguing is the DVD that comes with it, Under African Skies, directed by Joe Berlinger, which I saw on A&E a few days ago. It not only discusses the making of the album, and shows the reunion of many of the artists; it also addresses the huge controversy over the album and the subsequent tour.
There was a United Nations cultural (and other) boycott of South Africa at the time Continue reading Paul Simon's Graceland, plus 25
When I mentioned the military draft earlier in the month, I may not have been very clear. Think of a large goldfish bowl with 365 or 366 balls with every date for the year represented. The first date for a particular year pulled would be the first selected for military service, the second date pulled the second selected, etc. There would be a cutoff number, based on need for the war effort. Check out this article and then this one.
The food stamp President; note that Arthur had this BEFORE MoveOn.com helped propel it viral. He also remembers the first anniversary of the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake, the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s flight aboard Friendship 7, and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens.
Rosa Parks Did Much More than Sit on a Bus
The Stories I Tell: “Like most of us I was raised to tell the truth and be honest. This can present a minor dilemma for resellers.”
How a mom used Star Wars to answer life’s questions
Marvel/Disney wages petty, vicious war against Ghost Rider creator. Continue reading February Rambling: Military Draft, Muppets and Graceland
One of those year in review quizzes from Jaquandor.
Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Technically, I didn’t make any, in that I didn’t write any down. But probably not. Haven’t figured how to do more exercise without it feel like exercise. Probably played racquetball a half dozen times in 2011; used to play 200 times a year before the local Y closed, but dropping off the daughter at school then needing two buses (or a bike and a bus, if the weather’s decent) to get to work has made getting to play at Siena College difficult.
I keep threaten myself to stop blogging; what I HAVE done is blog (slightly) shorter, especially in December.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Actually, yes. My co-worker/fellow librarian Amelia and her husband Brian had baby Charlie on October 9. I won the office pool. Charlie was due October 8. I picked 9th day of the 10th month of the 11th year at 12:13 pm Continue reading 2011 Revisited
I have a strong recollection of our household getting the five Simon and Garfunkel studio albums, and it wasn’t in chronological order of their release.
First there was Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (PSRT-1966), the third album, which my father purchased for himself. That album included Cloudy, which was covered in a more cheerful manner by The Cyrkle; The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy), covered even more pep by Harpers Bizarre; The Dangling Conversation; and my dad’s favorite, 7 O’Clock News/Silent Night. The latter always bothered me Continue reading Arthur Garfunkel: "How terribly strange to be 70"
I happen to catch the song Magnet and Steel by Walter Egan at my bank, which is also a Starbucks You can LISTEN to it HERE. The backstory: Stevie Nicks sang on this track, and provided inspiration for the lyrics.
I’m a sucker for albums that have a title song but isn’t the title of the album. The album title is Not Shy, a reference in the song. “With you, I’m not shy.”
In Kill to Get Crimson by Mark Knopfler, the lyrics of Let It All Go include “I’d kill to get crimson on this palette knife.”
The title song of Simon and Garfunkel’s Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme is Scarborough Fair/Canticle. Negotiations and Love Songs, and Shining Like A National Guitar are collections of Paul Simon’s songs. The titles are taken from lines in the songs Train in the Distance and Graceland, respectively.
And of course, Nevermind by Nirvana is in reference to a word/words? in Smells Like Teen Spirit. (Oh, speaking of that song, a cover by 2 Cellos.)
Got any other examples of lines of songs that provide the title of an album?
I don’t think I can fully explain how INTEGRAL Paul Simon has been in my life, but I’ll try. In fact, I’ll try twice: once, now, for the albums related to his solo career, and again on November 5, for the earlier stuff with Art Garfunkel; November 5, Artie turns 70 as well.
Paul Simon (1972) – Here’s a video of a young woman playing Duncan at a Paul Simon concert; there’s a song I once could relate to.
There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973) – for a time, my favorite Paul Simon/S&G album Continue reading Paul Simon: "How terribly strange to be 70"
This is a music meme – I LOVE music memes, stolen from SamuraiFrog:
First album you bought – Beatles VI.
Last album you bought – Laura Nyro and Labelle – Gonna Take a Miracle.
Favourite debut album – Boston. Or America.
First album you listened to all the way through – the movie soundtrack to West Side Story, probably.
Last album you listened to – Lyle Lovett – It’s Not Big, It’s Large.
Favourite album of 60s – Beatles – Revolver. Or Beach Boys – Pet Sounds.
Favourite album artwork – Beatles – Sgt. Pepper. Or Beatles – With the Beatles, which has that same iconic picture as Meet the Beatles in the US MUSIC
Simon & Garfunkel had been performing on their “Old Friends” tour this year, and I had been considering going to one of the shows in Massachusetts. Then I heard the show had to be canceled because of Art Garfunkel’s vocal paresis.
Old Friends/Bookends was the last pair of songs, segued together, on the first side of the 1968 S&G album, Bookends. The collection also featured “Mrs. Robinson”, “A Hazy Shade of Winter” and “America”.
At the Zoo was the last song on the second side of the album. (Remember when albums had “sides”?) Here’s a video of the song.
I recall really liking this recording when I was in high school, whereas my good friend Carol HATED it, and also the Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever; odd the things one recalls. And I was particularly fascinated by the attributes that Paul Simon assigned to the animals.
Someone told me
It’s all happening at the zoo.
I do believe it,
I do believe it’s true.
It’s a light and tumble journey
From the East Side to the park;
Just a fine and fancy ramble
To the zoo.
But you can take the crosstown bus
If it’s raining or it’s cold,
And the animals will love it
If you do.
Somethin’ tells me
It’s all happening at the zoo.
Continue reading Z is for at the ZOO
Considering all of the movies I’ve seen, all the GREAT movies I’ve ever seen, it is surprisingly easy for me to pick my favorite:
Annie Hall (1977).
It was my touchstone picture for a number of years. I saw it four times in the movie theater, and it was one of the first films I purchased on VHS.
It’s the roller coaster in Coney Island, which I loved as a child. It’s early Christopher Walken, bizarre as he would later become.
The opening of the film was more story, fewer jokes, my kind of humor. It reminded me of seeing Woody Allen on Ed Sullivan in the 1960s. The film also features Paul Simon, one of my music icons of that decade.
I related to Alvy Singer. Continue reading 30-Day Challenge: Day 2: Favorite Movie